So I started a fresh game with the intentions to simulating the order of how I would run a space program if I started from scratch. So far, I've accomplished the following:
1. Put a dummy satellite in orbit
2. Put a satellite in orbit that took science readings for a brief period before running out of power
3. Put a satellite in orbit that deployed solar panels and has science equipment on board for constant on demand measurements.
4. Put a satellite in orbit that has a camera attached to take photos of the planet from orbit (plus the solar panels for power). Photos below:
5. Put a satellite in orbit around Mun with science equipment, a camera, and solar panels. I returned some nice close up imagery of the Mun from that probe. See below:
A. I plan to test land a probe with a camera on earth to make sure the camera works well on the surface (and the lander lands safely)
B. I will then send a probe to the Mun surface with a camera to give us a look at the surface
C. I will then either send a probe to orbit Minmus (followed up by a prob landing), or I will mount a manned orbit of earth and then a manned exploration of the Mun.
All of this has (so far) been done without any mechjeb or autopilot mods. I did mod in some equipment pieces like the camera though. FLY SAFE!